Tuesday, October 22, 2013

World stocks waver ahead of US jobs report

BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets wavered Tuesday as investors battened down for U.S. earnings and the September employment report.

Benchmarks in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan fell while Japan and Australia posted modest gains. European stock markets mostly floundered and Wall Street futures were flat.

Markets are absorbing quarterly U.S. earnings, with about 30 percent of S&P 500 companies releasing results this week, and also awaiting the September jobs report which was delayed more than two weeks.

U.S. employers are forecast to have added 180,000 jobs, up from 169,000 in August. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.3 percent, which will support arguments in favor of the Federal Reserve continuing its super easy monetary policy.

Employers are adding jobs at only a modest pace, and many of the hires are in lower-paying industries. Economists think the shutdown slowed growth in the October-December quarter and likely dampened hiring.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 6,662.06. France's CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent to 4,271.63 and Germany's DAX shed 0.1 percent to 8,857.19.

Dow and S&P 500 futures were little changed.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed up 0.1 percent at 14,713.25 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,373.10.

Seoul's Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,056.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5 percent to 23,315.99 and China's Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.8 percent at 2,210.65.

Monday's batch of U.S. earnings were mixed. McDonald's confirmed that it faces greater competition, shifting eating habits and tough economic conditions around the world. The share price of toy maker Hasbro spiked sharply after reporting better-than-expected results.

Benchmark crude for November delivery was down 23 cents at $98.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The November contract expires Tuesday.

Oil closed below $100 a barrel Monday for the first time since early July as U.S. supplies keep rising and the risks of disruption to Middle East shipments subside. The contract fell $1.59 to $99.22.

In currencies, the euro fell was steady at $1.3672 from $1.3673 late Monday. The dollar rose to 98.36 yen from 98.18 yen.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/world-stocks-waver-ahead-us-jobs-report-083944234--finance.html
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